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dp
01-16-2007, 01:09 AM
A couple years ago the power company installed new remote-readable power meter. In checking the power bill a few days ago including history back to 2001 I see the watts used has doubled with a knee right about the time that new meter was installed. I'm betting it is winding up tight when the furnace comes on as there is a secondary pattern of watts used in the history that kicks in around the winter months. The furnace is gas heat and electric blower and I think the motor power factor is influencing the new meter more than the old meter.

I'd read here and there about electronics that can make pf corrections so that the meters don't spin quite so fast when a motor is running but cannot find a reference. Old age is great for wisdom but not so good for remembering where you keep that wisdom. I recall the conversation was kicked off by a discussion of rotary converters and how expensive it is to idle one. That pretty much describes my blower. Lots of power capacity but small load.

Edit: and now I'm wondering about all those florescent fixtures I installed... I wonder how the power meter sees them compared to the incandescents of the same appx wattage I had before.

Any suggestions on how to make this look more economical to my meter without adding a bunch of capacitors?

Mike W
01-16-2007, 02:11 AM
You should be paying only for actual kilowatt hours used. Power factor correction should not be necessary unless the power company charges a demand cost.

J Tiers
01-16-2007, 09:59 AM
Most furnace blowers pull less than 10 amps, and that only when they are turning.

If the motor is on THAT much, I'd hate to see your GAS bill, never mind the electric.

How about the idea that your OLD meter was defective?

Or that your NEW meter is defective?

You MAY be able to check it, if your meter has any sort of display on it. If the meter has no display, then your goose is cooked, they can charge anything they want.

Shut off everything.... EVERY THING . Turn on one 100W bulb, old type incandescent.

Check display and see if it makes sense.

Instead of a bulb, it can be anything like a heater which has a known PF of 1, just to drop that out of the question. A heater will pull more current, and give you a result faster.

Very much doubt that a residential meter has demand, peak and/or pf readings.